Volunteer Spotlight:

Jervetta Burns

Risk Manager for Capital One

 How/when did you first get involved with CancerLINC?

I went through cancer support group training at the Cancer Treatment Center of Virginia and brought the training to my church at the time (Richmond Community Church). Soon afterward,  I learned about CancerLINC’s Community Breakfast in 2019, where I linked up with Chris Williams, with whom I volunteered at Make-A-Wish. It was great timing. I was able to talk about what my team does and the valuable resources that we could provide. 

Tell me about some of the volunteering you’ve done so far with CancerLINC?

Around Christmas, I helped a gentleman reach out who needed assistance completing his application for government assistance. I sat with him and made sure he had all the documents he needed and was his liaison on the phone. That was a terrific opportunity even though it was brief. That was my first encounter with a CancerLINC patient. I felt like I made a difference just by helping him through the phone call. 


The second client I assisted needed help with picking up food. He had mobility issues and needed someone to pick up food at one of the local food banks. I was able to pick them up for him and dropped those off at his house. It would have been difficult for him to get out and to stand for long periods of time. I was grateful to do that for him. 


Most recently, a client needed someone to help navigate through some of her annuities with her bank. She was struggling with the automated phone system and getting through to a person. For health reasons, she is homebound. I asked her what she needed and went grocery shopping for her. I followed up with her recently because I realized what I had purchased wasn't going to last very long.  I set up an account for her online where she can order what she wants, and I can pick it up for her. 


What do you find most challenging about volunteering?

Sometimes I ask myself, am I doing enough? COVID has some complexities

where you cannot go out and volunteer as much. A lot of these patients

are isolated and a lot of the time you can have a conversation

with these people. Previously, you could meet in-person with them

but now you can't.  You have to stay out of their homes, so you're just

dropping things off. Again, I think the challenge is being able to provide

enough support. I used to work with a team and now I'm just a team of

one. I can only do so much. 


What other volunteer work do you do? 

I have been supporting Make-A-Wish for many years. I have been working with them for 10 or 12 years. My nephew was a wish kid many years ago.  I wanted to contribute. I also support the American Cancer Society and volunteer at St. Mary's Hospital. COVID has diminished my participation in other things. Some things are coming back to life as we figuring out how to do things. I'm getting back to normalcy as to how to offer services. Of course, I volunteer at my church with various activities as well.


What do you wish other people knew about CancerLINC?

I wish that people would understand that your resources exist. I have a friend who was going through treatment and needed financial support and other resources. She needed to know what was available.  I want to make sure people know there are resources out there to help provide legal advice or guidance.